Designer - Proof Reverse - Donna Weaver - Engraving inspired by the Daniel Chester French sculpture titled "America" outside the U. S. Customs House in New York City.
Mitch Spivack: The 2004-W $100 Platinum is one special coin. An ounce of magnificent proof platinum sporting one of the lower mintages in the entire proof platinum complex. Often times, sub-10,000 to 12,500 mintage modern coins can rise sharply in price when the coins are capable of being "promoted". This generally requires the ability to be able to secure a sizeable starting position for such a promotion. The "trouble" with this particular coin is that it is too darn difficult to locate in quantity. The scant 6,007 mintage, spread all over the world, makes this coin extremely difficult to "promote". Hence, the lack of wild price appreciation thus far as compared with many other modern coins with higher mintages. It wasn't until sometime in 2005, that collectors and dealers realized this coin was going to be something special. The 2003 $100 Platinum coin came in at a mintage of just 8,246 - blowing away all prior $100 proof platinum mintage to that point. There was excitement surrounding the 2003 $100 platinum back in 2004. Yet, collectors did not aggressively ordering 2004 proof platinum when they finally became available from the U.S. Mint. By the time, the U.S. Mint cut off 2004 proof platinum sales (in a shortened sale season), the 2004 $100 coin ended up with a scant 6,007 mintage - WAY below the 2003 $100 coin. The U.S. Mint shipped the 6,007 coins throughout the world - one here and one there. When some dealers and collectors tried to buy quantities of these coins beginning in 2005, the coins were simply not available in quantity on the secondary market. I recall one of the biggest "scores" I was able to find in 2005 was a quality of about (10) pieces. Most buys were for a single coin or two. The distribution of this coin simply made it super tough to secure a large enough quantity to do a "promotion" on this coin - and that has not changed to this day. Between 2005-2006, prices roughly tripled on this coin as measured by the U.S. Mint's initial offering price. Yet, over the past three to four years, the coin has been stagnant - even dropping in price some from 2006 levels (while the base metal has risen). I personally keep a close eye on all of the platinum coins (mint state and proof) - amazingly, during the entire 2009 year, I estimate that no more than 25-50 of these 2004-W $100 proof coins were offered for sale on the "CCE" dealer network! I could not imagine what it might take to acquire a fresh position of 100 coins at this point in time. In the eyes of this commentator, you are looking at one of the cool, low mintage, modern coins of the future!